It’s the 26th January in Australia – the weather is glorious and the bars and beaches are filled to the brim with people celebrating. Happy Australia Day! I spent 8 months working in Sydney and the 26th January marked one of my last days in the country before I began another adventure. Now, I’m living in London and I thought, what better way to celebrate Australia Day this year than to write about the amazing places I was lucky enough to visit whilst I was there. Here are my four must-sees:
Yes, this is number one on my list because I lived here. Truth is, it’s very hard to find someone that doesn’t fall in love with this city. Obviously because of all the landmarks you’ve heard of already: The Opera House, The Sydney Harbour Bridge, Bondi Beach, but it is so much more than these places regardless of how jaw-dropping they are. Venture to the suburbs and try out some quirky cafe’s and GREAT coffee. Hint: Surry Hills has some amazing spots. Or jump on a ferry over to Manly Beach and take in the cool, easy suburban life. You won’t find yourself nearly as cramped as you are at Bondi Beach. Fancy going back in time in the middle of a modern metropolis? Take a short wander from Circular Quay and you’ll be in the Rocks, the oldest area in Sydney. Make sure you pay a visit to The Glenmore – a lively rooftop bar overlooking the harbour with unforgettable views.
2. The Whitsundays & Airlie Beach
Turquoise waters, colourful and tropical ocean life, boat parties galore and post-card perfect beaches with some of the purest sand in the world. Sound like you’re in paradise yet? You are! As well as beautiful scenery, there are endless activities in Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays – there is something for everyone. Partying day and night? Book yourself onto the Atlantic Clipper for an unforgettable two-day boat party. Want to have a relaxing break? Rent one of the many apartments or hotels on offer in Airlie Beach. The small town of Airlie Beach has a typical, laid-back Australian atmosphere. Grab a drink and ahhhhh…relax.
3. Fraser Island
Welcome to the world’s largest sand island. It’s a pretty big deal in Australia, particularly for Aboriginal culture. Fraser Island lets your adventurous side prevail. The island is only accessible via ferry and the only form of transport allowed are 4x4s and small passenger planes (these planes land on the beach – how cool is that?) Cruise down the largest sand highway in the world, go off road and prepare for a bumpy ride through the island to get to hidden lakes and vantage points. Look out for wildlife – spiders, snakes and dingos all included. The island isn’t exactly what you call safe, but you’ll feel pretty indestructible once you leave. Not to mention, you’ll wish you never left…
4. McLaren Vale, Adelaide
If you like wine, get yourself down to McLaren Vale in Adelaide as quickly as you possibly can. Stretches of fresh, green vineyards await in the Adelaide hills. Prepare to taste some of the most delicious wine, I mean, you can’t go to Australia without going wine tasting and this is the perfect spot to do it. What struck me the most about McLaren Vale is the beauty of the place. Once you’ve tasted some unforgettable wine, head to one of the many restaurants and have a bite to eat in the Australian sunshine. Then, drive your way down country roads amongst rolling fields of vineyards, dreaming of what wine you’re going to taste next. Obviously, make sure you have a designated driver first!